Laris is a young orphaned ex-refugee, gifted with the beast-master ability allowing her to communicate with animals. Her closest companion is a remarkably intelligent and enigmatic catlike creature named Prauo, whose origin is shrouded in mystery. Laris, having made a home for herself with the Quades, a family of Arzor ranchers, has also become friends with beast masters Tani and Hosteen Storm, who help her develop her beast-master skills.
When Laris inherits a spaceship from a distant relative, she realizes that she might now fulfill her dream of finding Prauo’s home planet. But it won’t be easy, and she is relieved when she is able to convince her new extended family to embark with her on a journey into the unknown depths of space.
What Laris and her friends find in space, however, tests their beast-master abilities and threatens their lives. Prauo’s home world is beset by dangers that the intrepid travelers could not have anticipated. It will take all of their talents and experience to get back to Arzor alive.
Andre Alice Norton (1912-2005) was an American science fiction and fantasy author (with some works of historical fiction and contemporary fiction) under the noms de plume Andre Norton, Andrew North and Allen Weston. Norton published her first novel in 1934, and was the first woman to receive the Gandalf Grand Master Award from the World Science Fiction Society in 1977, and won the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) association in 1983.
Andre Norton. Wikipedia.